For me, clothes are far more than just pieces of fabric we put on our backs. Fashion always tells a story about society and the age in which they're worn: the economic conditions, the social status of women (or lack of it), the zeitgeist, the predominant sentiments.
Clothes are the outward means of expressing ourselves. That can entail artifice or honesty, but they allow us to be who we want to be on the outside and can have an immense affect on the way we feel on the inside.
I dress to feel glamorous on a miserable day. I put heels on when I want to feel empowered, and I wear florals when I want to feel pretty. I know that I dress to feel strong or soft, feminine and even masculine (I love the manstyle shoes and white shirts with blazer androgynous look of the moment).
And whether we like it or not, people make judgments based on our appearance. If we're feeling good in what we wear, we're happier, more engaged and confident. We probably walk taller, have a better posture and make a better impression.
As fashion legend Diana Vreeland said, "We live through our dreams." Fashion for Vreeland was a way of presenting and preparing oneself for the day ahead, because "life is artifice". I think she was saying that life is about what you want to present to the world. We are all capable of doing and being what we want to be, and for Vreeland, fashion aided and helped that process of realising oneself.
Over the coming months, I'm going to be posting about all things fashion, style and lifestyle. I hope you'll join me.
Natalie Bridges for Sisters & Co.
Photo sources: Rene Bouet-Willaumez black and white sketches of Diana Vreeland in Mainbocher for Vogue in 1933 and www.iimeeducation.org